What is wrong with our country today? Why can’y people just be nice to each other? I have had two experiences this week in which if the people involved had just been civil and nice it wouldn’t have “ground my gears”. First was with dogs. I have documented the incident on Facebook, suffice it to say two young “ladies” let their dogs run amok while I was walking Buddy on his lead. The two dogs ran at us. Finally the two “ladies” got their dogs under control and I simply reminded them of the leash law and the fine of $200. They asked me if I wanted to call the police on them. I said next time I would. She told me to “relax dude” and the other said, “no one got hurt.” No regard for me or my feelings…none. They acted as if I was the bad guy.
Second situation was today. I went to the A T & T store in Malden center. I only went because I couldn’t get their phone to answer, it was constantly busy for 20 minutes straight. I was out and about so I stopped in and asked the man/boy behind the counter if they had the iPhone 5S yet. A simple question that requires a simple answer. Instead he laughed at me. I said I guess you don’t, when do you think you’ll have them. I don’t know dude was the reply.
Two separate incidents, two separate “dudes”.
I am not a dude. I am a man. I am actually a gentleman and wish to be treated as such. The topper was when I see the President of the USA walking across the lawn of the White House on TV with no tie.
Civility and casualism. Ever since this nation went casual everything has fallen apart. You want serious people, put them in serious clothes. I’m not saying you should wear a tie lying around watching football on the weekend but is it to much to ask for the President to wear a tie when he’s working? For that matter is it to much to ask for all males to wear ties at their jobs (not electricians and plumbers or the like)? I’m being serious here, this is not a joke post. Since this nation let its standards down it has been a spiral down into the depths of Gomorrah! Standards are there for a reason. Let’s bring them back!
I consider myself a traditional Catholic. I love the Eucharist and the other Sacraments, including confession. I love my Archbishop, Cardinal Sean, and have pledged obedience to him. I love the devotions of the Church, especially Eucharistic adoration. I am loyal to the Pope and to the Magisterium and as a Pastor I have taken oaths saying I’m loyal and pledging to be loyal. Yet because I am not enamored with/in love with the Latin Mass I am somehow suspect. I have no problem with the Latin Mass, if you enjoy it I think that’s awesome, I really do. I think anything that brings people into a closer relationship with Jesus Christ is awesome. I do not have any problem with folks celebrating the Latin Mass, I just wish people would treat me the way I treat them. I do not feel the need to celebrate the Latin Mass, there are priests who know the Latin and can do it and bravo for them they should do it. The vast majority of Catholics go to a Mass in a vernacular language, either English or their native tongue. That is where the rubber meets the road where we must meet folks as we try to re-evangelize our nation. We cannot force feed Latin to people, I am sorry if this offends anyone but it is the truth. To bring folks back we must continue to celebrate the Novus Ordo Mass in a positive and reverent way. Reverence is probably the key to the whole thing, and that is something we can all do better, but just because some priests aren’t as reverent as they should be doesn’t mean we should trow away the current way we celebrate the Eucharist. Perhaps we all need to put our energy into making sure our Sunday liturgies are reverent and yet also, relevant to those who are there and those who are not. Let’s make sure we are doing that before we try and do something that may have the exact opposite effect we desire to see. I love the Church, Jesus and the Pope…I am a traditional Catholic.
Simon Peter answered him, “Master, to whom shall we go?
You have the words of eternal life.
We have come to believe and are convinced that you are the Holy One of God.”
Saint Peter’s question is our question too; it is the question every human being can ask. To whom shall we go? Exactly Peter! The only other place to “go” would be to turn away from Jesus. Those of us who believe, and if you’re here I operate on the assumption that you believe, we can go to no one else but Jesus and we have faith. People do turn away from Christ though don’t they? We all know them, they are our sons and daughters, our brothers and sisters and maybe even our parents and it hurts us doesn’t it? We hurt because we know that the answer to all of life’s questions are here in our Catholic faith and yet people go searching in other places for something that is right in front of their faces. It’s frustrating and stupefying to us isn’t it? Most of the time they slip away from the Church because it is easier to be a part of the world and so we see the Gospel passage being lived out even today in our own age. The teachings of Jesus can be difficult to live out but most of the time they are not and only when we care what the world says about us do we walk away. People today find it easier to approve of choices and lifestyles that run contrary to the Gospel because they want to be able to have “cool” friends and hang out in “trendy” places. They want people to think they are somehow enlightened because they are willing to go against all they have been taught since they were children and in the name of “peace” we sometimes just walk away and do nothing ourselves. My friends, this life is fleeting, we do not have time to be “nice” and not offend. The time for saving souls is now! If it means losing some of those around us whom we love then so be it, it happened to the Lord why don’t we think it will happen to us? The Lord was sad when folks turned away from Him, but notice He doesn’t go chasing them down saying, “Ok, ok you win I’ll change this for you.” No, He watches them walk away and turns to those who stayed and asks them a question that properly answered lets Jesus know exactly where they stand. What’s your answer? Where do you stand, with God or with the world?
Hate is a strong word. Let’s face it, we shouldn’t hate anyone, and we Christians should be very careful about the word hate as it is the antithesis of everything Jesus taught. Remember love your neighbor? A Jesus classic. So when we see things like this:
We need to resist the temptation to hate and focus on the thought that whoever did this needs our prayers. Does this vandalism outrage me? Yes it does, but I will not let the small mindedness of a few muddle with who I am and what I believe. If this was a Muslim, Jewish or some other type of billboard and this had happened it would be a national story full of outrage from the President and other political opportunists, but because it is the Catholic Church, everyone yawns and turns away. So, I don’t hate the person that did this, but I pity them their small and petty existence and I will pray that they see the light, the light of the true faith and the One, True God.
“God has created me to do Him some definite service. He has committed some work to me which He has not committed to another. I have my mission. I may never know it in this life, but I shall be told it in the next. I am a link in a chain, a bond of connection between persons. He has not created me for naught. I shall do good; I shall do His work. I shall be an angel of peace, a preacher of truth in my own place, while not intending it if I do but keep His commandments. Therefore, I will trust Him, whatever I am, I can never be thrown away. If I am in sickness, my sickness may serve Him, in perplexity, my perplexity may serve Him. If I am in sorrow, my sorrow may serve Him. He does nothing in vain. He knows what He is about. He may take away my friends. He may throw me among strangers. He may make me feel desolate, make my spirits sink, hide my future from me. Still, He knows what He is about.” – Blessed John Henry Newman
What about you? Do you believe as Cardinal Newman believed that you are a link in a chain? That you have been created for something, and something good? What is your mission? See when we think of ourselves solely as independent creature with no link to anyone else we diminish the Body of Christ. It is important for us to remember that each of us matters; we each will do something that enriches the Kingdom of God. That is why murder is so egregious, and why abortion is so abominable. Life is the precious gift given to us from God and any time we do something that takes another life the Body of Christ is diminished. All taking of human life is objectionable but of course the Lord does want us to act in self defense, we don’t have to let another take our life and certainly defense of one’s nation falls into self defense as well, but to knowingly and willingly take another life without benefit of self defense is truly sinful. The gift that God gives us is meant to be shared and meant to accomplish something useful, and God Himself determines what that is. It therefore is not our right to take that life we find inconvenient or worse, we find uncomfortable. This applies to the baby in the womb, the elderly in the home and yes, even the inmate on death row. The Church is consistent in her teaching that all life is precious. As Catholic Christians, let us continue to pray that we can all grow in our appreciation of what human life means, let us pray that we try and protect human life where we can and let us pray for the strength of our convictions to elect leaders who think as we do on this most important issue, that of the right to life. Thank you my friends for reading this and understanding that sometimes we need to teach the hard truth and while it can be hard to understand sometimes, the reality is this; love truly is the answer to all problems and if we love each other we can make even hard truths easier to take. May God bless you! Peace.
I’m feeling the tug to blog again. I’m going to try and post at least once a week. Sometimes it will be my bulletin column, other times it will be a response to the news or some other opinion. I will try to be faithful to this. Thanks in advance.